This novel is based on the CIA-funded brainwashing experiments, using LSD and electric shock treatment, which were carried out in the late 50s and early 60s. The author has also written "Platinum Blues", which was shortlisted for a Crime Writers Association Arthur Ellis Award.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
Another high-octane Canadian thriller from Deverell, who's made a specialty of unbalanced but heroic lawmen (Needles, High Crimes, etc.). This time the troubled hero is Kellen O'Reilly, a divorced cop who takes time out from flashing back to traumatic memories of his college participation in the Coldhaven clinic - whose master, Dr. Gregor Satorius, dealt with childhood traumas (like Kellen's discovery of his dead father's body) by blocking the memories chemically and substituting a new past - and worrying about a job action against the Montreal force to accompany sexy, unfriendly, well-connected lawyer Sarah Paradis to a drugstore, where her request for tranquilizers is disrupted by a robbery that erupts in murder - a murder Kellen decides has been the real object of the suspiciously well-coordinated attack all along. Two murders later, after realizing that the film the killers have been after was shot at Coldhaven, Kellen finds himself on the trail of Satorius and the all-too-familiar villains who harnessed his ability to out hallucinogenically engineered killers. The breathless pace and unrelenting suspense hide the essential lack of originality in the plotting (Kellen is taken off the case by his chief at the CIA's request, goes it on his own, confronts Satorious and Co. at Coldhaven, and has to rescue Sarah from the killers) and casting (good-bad hero, bad-bad bosses, feisty-tender heroine, loyal partner obviously slated for death, sleazy thugs on the US government payroll). The final revelation is not to be believed. Routine work presented with verve and style. The film (a natural) is reportedly in the can already. (Kirkus Reviews)